We had a whack Labor Day weekend — Friday’s and Saturday’s temperatures were in the high 90s, and by Monday, they’d fallen 40 degrees, which sort of ruined my plans to spend summer’s final day at the pool, listening to the traditional last-day DJ set. Oh, well. Kate and I saw “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” on one of the steamy days, because sometimes you just need the extra kick only movie-theater air conditioning can provide.
I was delighted to be delighted by the film, which was great fun and surprisingly moving and aw hell MONKEYS ON THE RAMPAGE OOK OOK OOK. I’m sorry trailers nowadays have to give away the whole damn movie, because it would have been wonderful to have the big battle scene take you by surprise, but no. Everyone who’s even seen a TV ad knows it happens on the Golden Gate Bridge. The CGI effects are wonderful, with some liberties taken. Here’s an actual chimp:
Here’s the digital chimp, Caesar, from the film:
As you can see, the unstable pharmaceutical substance that gives the ape species its super intelligence also gives it standard-issue human eyes. Eyes were the secret of E.T., too, although I hated that movie and would happily have subjected the little extraterrestrial to a full government interrogation. Chimpanzees I can identify with. But it’ll take more than eyes to make me fall.
Anyway, “Rise” needed a subtitle: The radicalization of a young primate, say, or a sexier poster line: Abu Ghraib, with even more hair than Khalid Sheik Muhammed. The apes rise for very good reasons, and the battle on the bridge would be commemorated in heroic sculpture once the new ape society is in place, but we have to leave something for the sequel.
Yesterday was the first day of school around here, and the weather stayed cool, segueing into the sort of overcast and chill rain today that includes everything but the Goodyear blimp flying a banner: IT’S OVER, FOLKS. I’m not entirely devastated by it; there’s always a point at which you’re ready to start wearing long pants again. I did buy a pair of new Teva sandals on late-season clearance, and I love them so it would be nice if I could continue showing my toes for a few more weeks. So let’s jump to the bloggage, showing our toes all the while:
Jim at Sweet Juniper took the kids to Sleeping Bear Dunes this summer, and had trouble making the climb. Fortunately, he gave us an account of the experience. Funny.
Don’t let Joe Nocera’s column about the loss of middle ground in Washington make you think you’ve read it all before. There’s some good detail here:
“This is not a collegial body anymore,” (Rep. Jim Cooper, Democrat of Tennessee) said. “It is more like gang behavior. Members walk into the chamber full of hatred. They believe the worst lies about the other side. Two senators stopped by my office just a few hours ago. Why? They had a plot to nail somebody on the other side. That’s what Congress has come to.”
Alan and I went to Windsor for dinner one night last summer, and it was sorta meh. Windsor used to have a thriving restaurant scene, I’m told, and U.S. visitors came often to its Italian, Chinese and other districts. Now that you need a passport and a tolerance for potential border searches, business has fallen significantly. Yet another 9/11 story, this on the explosion of the border-control industry in our region. It was a good decade to wear a badge, apparently. One day, perhaps we naked apes will rise in revolt.
And with that, I must skedaddle. Holiday weeks mean extra work.